It only takes 12 months for your baby to grow from a newborn to a toddler. 12 months of transformation from a fragile little thing to a fully active child- how amazing is that?
Babies grow in such a pace in the first year, you are left asking yourself: when those body suits became too small? (Or why the heck did I buy so many baby clothes s/he didn’t even have a chance to wear?!).
Although there are certain milestones your baby should reach throughout his/her development, it’s important to remember that not every child is the same and they might be practising their skills at different times. For example, some babies will start walking at 10 months, some even when they’re at 17 months- so there’s a quite big gap of what we can call ‘normal’ developmental stage.
So, keeping those possibilities in mind, here’s a quick baby milestone guide- first year of the developmental stages, month by month.
Newborn to 3 months
For newborns everything is new and scary so they only communicate through crying (there will be lots of it!). That’s why, before few weeks pass, the only thing you should expect from your baby is sleeping (and waking up every second hour), breastfeeding (all day on and off) and making nappies wet (and stinky). Oh, did I mention crying?
1st month :
Once your baby is 1 month old, s/he may recognize and ‘respond’ in a way to familiar voices since the hearing is fully developed. Eyesight is getting stronger so s/he can stare and your hands and fingers or track a moving object with his eyes. S/he will also have a strong grip and be able to move his head from side to side when lying on the stomach.
Reaching 2 months old, your baby will most likely begin to lift up his head and chest when put on the tummy. S/he will start opening and closing his hands, play with his fingers and give you that precious first smile! S/he will be also easier comforted by touch and start to recognize your voice.
By this time your little one should start making eye contact, will most likely babble, coo and mimic sounds. H/she could be able to grasp some objects and try to reach dangling object (probably without success yet).
Your baby might start teething so will start putting things in her mouth. S/he can look at things from distance and will love to grab the toys; since her arms are getting stronger, she should push herself up when lying on her tummy.
She may also demonstrate her first laugh out loud.
Your baby starts to roll over from front-to back. S/he will be discovering her lips and ways to play with them. Her hands will become a center of interest so you’ll see her manipulating the toys a lot, transferring them from one hand to the other.
Your little one will also see colours better and s/he will reach for you a lot (keep your hair close!) and cry when you’re out of her sight.
At this month your little one will probably begin learning process of sitting up. S/he will recognize other faces (not only yours)- of your family members and close friends. Amazed by discovering her voice, your baby will laugh and babble more and will probably know how to roll herself over in both directions.
By now your baby will most likely start to move around – it’s when the real fun begins:) Scooting (pushing himself around on his bum), funny crawling and all in between- make sure you take lots of videos! Now is the time to start baby-proofing your house. However, don’t be alarmed if you’re baby doesn’t crawl- some kids never do, instead they move right from scooting to walking.
He will also practise her thumb and fingers co-ordination. From social skills s/he starts to react to other people’s emotions and his bubbling gets more ‘complex’ (begins to resemble some weird foreign language!).
Approaching this month, your little one may sit well without assistance and can clap his hands. He’ll enjoy to play interactive games such as peek-a-boo, might recognize different shapes and will react to his name and other familiar words (when you say ‘no’, your little one should stop to look but don’t count on him listening to the command just yet).
Reaching 9 month mark, your little explorer might be trying to climb the stairs (or rather awkwardly crawl up). He may also understand the idea of the object permanence (something or someone actually exists even if they’re not there, wow!). It’s also common at this time for babies to be scared of strangers.
By now your baby will probably pull herself up to a standing position, will love to stack and sort toys and wave ‘bye-bye’. Her gestures and body communication also get more clear, for example she points at things when she wants something and lifts her arms- giving you a sign s/he wants to be picked up (and carried around for the unforeseeable future).
Your little dictator becomes much smarter- s/he knows how the cause and effect works; in other words, she understands how to manipulate you by crying (I weep or scream and there she comes, yaaay- I will do it more often!).
At this month your little one should start saying her first simple words such as ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ (I know you will make sure she says ‘mama’ first). S/he might get a bit rebellious during meal times- pushing the food away, dropping the spoon on the floor- just to test your reaction (be careful not to laugh, she will think it’s funny and I guarantee she won’t stop doing it for a while!).
From motor skills, s/he will start cruising by holding onto the furniture. She’s going to love different textures, running water becomes one of the biggest entertainment! She can also look and listen at the same time so reading should be much more fun for her (she will turn the pages herself while you read).
Reaching his first birthday, your baby can start to be called a toddler. But she’s still going to act like a baby for some time.
The highlight of this month will most likely be the first steps (or at least, standing without support). I know you were imagining this moment since your little one was born, am I right? It’s an exciting time so make sure you have your camera charged and ready to go:)
This is the right time to start looking for first shoes for your little one- just make sure the shoes you want to buy are the right size (and supportive enough); to learn more click here.
Your toddler will get more ‘independent’- s/he may try feeding and dressing herself- and she will be hilarious while doing so:) S/he also enjoys copying everything you do (especially using everything around her to pretend she’s talking on the phone) and should be able to say up to 3 different words.
S/he should also understand more commands and start to obey them (or not!).
Second year at a glance
By the time your toddler reaches 2 years old s/he should:
- be walking with confidence, later start running
- be climbing on all kinds of furniture (unsupported)
- attempt to walk on the stairs (with your help)
- attempt jumping, occasionally stand on the tiptoes
- know how to kick a ball
- have at least around 8 teeth (usually 4 top and 4 bottom ones)
- say several words (at least 15 by the age of 18 months), later put two words together and into phrases
- can understand more complex instructions (‘bring me your shoes/jacket and put it on’)
- be ready for potty training
- play alongside other kids (but not yet ‘with’ them) and be enthusiastic by their company
- begin to sort by shape and colours
- point at object when it’s named to him/her
- find objects even when they’re hidden
- have decreasing feeling of separation anxiety
- be happy to drink from a cup (not a bottle)
- be able to use a spoon and a fork
When should you be concerned?
You can make the progression to the next developmental ‘stage’ a bit easier to your little one by buying the right toys. You can read about the best toys for babies’ development here.
However, you should always trust your mother instincts; if you feel like there’s something wrong with your baby, s/he seems to be reaching the developmental milestones very late or is not reaching them at all- then it’s best to check it with your doctor. If there really is a problem, it’s always good to intervene sooner than later.
Just remember, in most cases your baby might be ‘falling behind’ in learning one skill because s/he’s occupied mastering the other skill. It’s not really about the right time that your child sits, crawls, walks or say the first words. It’s about seeing the progression, noticing the positive changes and growth. It’s about moving forward.
That’s all from me for today mamas!
Enjoy watching your little ones grow:)